What is Running Start, and why has WWPR chosen it as a pro bono client?

Running Start is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to inspiring young women to run for political office. WWPR selected Running Start for our 2024-2025 pro bono partnership to empower and elevate the next generation of female leaders in politics, aligning with our commitment to support women and children in the D.C. area. It is important to note that politics is the core of their mission, not just leadership.

We asked CEO and founder, Susannah Wellford, for her favorite story on an alum’s success. She said, “We all know what people want to hear – a few years ago the first congresswoman who went through Running Start was elected, Lauren Underwood. Very exciting for sure. But that isn’t the measure of who we are. We have trained 27,500 alums, all of whom are active in doing things that make us proud, even though all aren’t elected to office.” She is proud that Running Start prepares women for political leadership, whether they run for Congress, serve in a nonprofit, or speak out in student government.

How can WWPR members contribute to this partnership? Running Start needs your expertise. They have very little in-house support for communications but a big story to tell!  Your skills – especially in messaging, media relations, digital communications, branding, and crisis communications – can significantly impact Running Start’s mission, enhancing its visibility and influence. If interested, sign-up to join the Pro Bono committee here

What are the expected outcomes of the collaboration between WWPR and Running Start? The partnership aims to boost Running Start’s reach and effectiveness, enabling more young women to receive the training and support they need to pursue political leadership.  

How does this partnership benefit WWPR members? Working with Running Start provides a unique opportunity for professional growth and networking. Members can apply their skills in a new context, gain insights into the nonprofit sector and political communications, and contribute to meaningful societal change. 

Where can members learn more or sign up to get involved with Running Start? For more information or to join the Pro Bono Committee’s efforts with Running Start, sign-up for the Pro Bono committee here contact Kelsey Flora (kelsey.flora@wwpr.org) or Alicia Aebersold (alicia.aebersold@wwpr.org). Read more about Running Start at runningstart.org.